The Future of transit in Raleigh

Bus service in Raleigh and Wake County is gradually being ramped up thanks to the transit sales tax. But rather than going for a “big bang” by doing all the service increases at once, they are phasing in additional service over the course of 10 years. I believe we are currently in the middle of year 1 of this roll-out, which will extend until 2027. The current planning process is figuring out what services should be increased by how much and when.

This is somewhat of an oversimplification, but the money they “saved” by rolling out additional service gradually rather than instantaneously will basically be used to fund capital needs like more buses, as well as BRT and commuter rail infrastructure.

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GoRaleigh busses should get signaling priority as well. Waiting 8 minutes at an ackward left turn like Bus 2 on Five Points is ridiculous. Probably one of the reasons buses have a hard time staying on time.

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And this is WHY…the region needs more Bus shelters w/maps indicating where they are and where they need to go. standing in the pouring rain waiting for the Bus to arrive.

lucky i brought my umbrella and boots.

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What do folks think of this?

Go OnDemand

Because of usage and customer feedback, the Go OnDemand pilot started in January 2018 would be discontinued and replaced with a new pilot program, “Transit Connect.”

Transit Connect Pilot

rtp map

Transit Connect would provide the first/last mile connection to a public transit route and expand access to more locations within the designated RTP zone at all times of the day. The trip time would be competitive with current levels of service provided on fixed routes and OnDemand.

  • Transit Connect would provide a subsidy of up to $10 for an Uber or Lyft trip within a defined Research Triangle Park zone for customers connecting to or from a public transit route weekdays between 6:30 a.m. and 10:45 p.m.
  • Customers would qualify for the subsidy if they use the Uber or Lyft app to request a ride that begins or ends within 1,000 feet of any fixed-route GoTriangle or GoDurham bus stop, including the Regional Transit Center. The second destination or origin can be any location within the RTP zone.
  • The Transit Connect RTP zone is bordered by NC 55, I-540, Page Road, Lumley Road and Alston Avenue and includes the Regional Transit Center. GoTriangle Routes 800, 805 and 311 and GoDurham Routes 12 and 15 serve bus stops within the RTP zone where customers can connect to a subsidized Uber or Lyft trip.
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Over the years GoTriangle f/k/a Triangle Transit has tried lots of things to serve the major employers in RTP. Nothing really works, in part because the employers are deliberately spread out (it’s a “park”, after all), in part because GoTriangle doesn’t serve well the places where RTP workers live and meanwhile GoRaleigh and GoDurham are obsessed (focused, if you prefer) bringing people into DTR and DTD,

Whether a significant number of people use this new Transit Connect, we shall see, but the market share of people traveling into RTP on a daily basis will probably still be less than 1%.

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I’m wondering if this will succeed could come down to marketing/communication?

If GoTriangle/RTP markets this as “Transit Connect” and a GoTriangle service*, then I feel like people won’t care. But if it’s marketed explicitly as “subsidized Uber/Lyft [plz combine with transit]”, then maybe people will actually pay attention.

This would mean the only way GoTriangle can serve more RTP employees is if they serve the sprawly suburbs frequently (which means designing an impossible route). Is that true, or is there more that can be done?

*: yeah, that’s what this initiative is. …but the average rider only cares about the end user and probably doesn’t care about what company or entity is “in charge”

EDIT:

I feel like Transit Connect could be interesting only if it’s adopted by enough people, mainly in context with some other additions. Don’t forget these, too:

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Missing make RTP into a giant uninhabitable lake.

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…and singlehandedly torpedo what gave the Triangle its name? Nah I’m good lol

In the meantime, I found this.

I like that they are experimenting. Last mile/first mile alternatives are challenging.

I wish RTA, CAMPO and NCDOT would focus on reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled overall. I’m not thrilled about using public transit tax dollars to pay for Uber/Lyft rides for a subset of transit riders. The solution adds cars circling RTP campus, more CO2, and we get no infrastructure benefit from the tax $ spent. It also pays for last mile expenses for people who are most likely able to afford it. We won’t do this for low income neighborhoods to access transit.

I would rather see them engaging the RTP businesses about incentives to commute. For example, building protected bike lanes throughout RTP’s campus and getting businesses to provide covered bike parking and shower facilities and maybe even incentives to commute (i.e. discounted bus fares via employer). Bike/Bus/Bike commutes are very feasible if we make the experience safe, comfortable, and quick. If it isn’t all three, people will continue to make solo car trips.

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For those willing to take maverick333’s challenge, here is your chance: https://gotriangle.org/getonboard

There you can download your free transit pass and try out riding transit on April 25

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No! My favorite BBQ place is out that way and I’m not PADI certified!

Smokey’s or Backyard BBQ Pit??

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In fairness to GoTriangle, killing the poor-performing route 201 RTP-North Raleigh that runs along Glenwood, Millbrook, and Spring Forest and adding the new NRX that runs on I-540 is worth trying. It won’t help anyone who lives along or west of Six Forks, but it could benefit people who live along Falls of Neuse, Capitol, etc.

People must recognize that the so-called RTP problem has largely self-corrected by virtue of residential growth in Morrisville, north Cary, Brier Creek, etc. It’s no longer the case – as it was in 1985 or mostly in 1995 – that everyone drives 12-20 miles into RTP in the mornings. There’s even been moderate-to-high density residential construction on the immediate periphery of RTP. Now you’ve got people driving into RTP over distances no farther than one side of Raleigh ITB to the other. And the free market did this.

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The flip side of subsidizing last-mile expenses for people who can afford it is that you’re paying to minimize solo car trips for the people who have the higher risk of contributing to it. If the issue you’re concerned about is incentivizing RTP employees to commute, I think it’s important to keep the discussion in that context.

and towels/laundry, too, while we’re at it?

I recently moved into a new office in my job that has showers and lockers for employees, which is nice. But I’m still feeling unsure about using it to bike (which would definitely make my commute easier and give me more exercise) because I don’t know how I feel about bringing my own towel and bring it back and forth between my house and a building with biohazardous materials in it every day…

Turns out, GoTriangle does that in this obscure initiative. (It’d be nicer to know exactly what perks you can get, too, to see if it’s worth doing…)

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Backyard BBQ Pit. Wasn’t particularly impressed by Smokey’s.

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I have already downloaded my transit pass, any takers. Challenge still stands.

Thanks for taking time to think this through and how it might work for you.

First, yes, we do have to deal with the reality that public transportation is about both, reducing vehicle miles traveled, traffic congestion and pollution at the same time it is about providing affordable transportation alternatives for our citizens. It isn’t just one thing and therefore compromises have to be made. I am literally working on a project to improve transit access for several low/middle income neighborhoods (one car working families) and the closest we are going to get a bus to stop is a little more than a mile. This walk is on a narrow, unlined road with 45mph speed limits without a sidewalk and without any street lights. This neighborhood would love to have free Uber/Lyft rides to/from their bus stop. They surely can’t afford to do it every day. We are working on improving safety to make them self sufficient, not pay their way. Bike commuting in RTP would be equitable infrastructure.

Bike/Bus/Bike commuting can work but it does take collaboration between the transit folks, employers and employees. It sounds like you may have special circumstances which have to be sorted in order to make the bike commute work for you. If we built protected bike lanes and parking, at least you are in the game of working out the details with your employer.

I have seen the GoPerks program. It’s puzzling to me and it doesn’t seem to address the inhibitors to people being willing to try bike commuting…rewards points and gift cards?

I hope you get to try bike commuting and see how it works for you.

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What about those that live in and around the Raleigh area , those that are low/middle income families, seniors, students, etc that rely heavy on Transit. What improvements are in place for them ? as Raleigh grows each year, as well as DTR, demand will increase.

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… so… like GoRaleigh? And how they recently expanded routes, increased funding for senior mobility programs, are continuing to develop BRT, and just discussed more plans to do so this past Friday?

They’re all existing initiatives and discussions we’ve brought up here, before. Lots of initiatives (that are kinda biased in favor of DTR, as @ctillnc mentioned) are loaded up in the pipeline; it seems a bit unfair to judge GoTriangle (whose main goal isn’t even to operate specifically in Wake County) for not updating its network when GoRaleigh is in the process of doing so.

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Agreed that the 201 on Millbrook and Spring Forest is kind of pointless. The 540 express will probably be more popular.

The link that is missing IMO is Crabtree-RTC. Recently a two seat ride on the GoTriangle 100 and GoRaleigh 27 has become possible which is better than having to ride further into town, but I do not believe the transfer is coordinated or timed in any way at all right now. A direct link between the two hubs would have benefitted me on quite a few occasions over the years and it is something I hope they consider in the near future.

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